Bonjour! The next Grand Slam is finally here as the 2015 French Open begins today! Je suis tellement excitée! (I think that means “I’m so excited!” I hope that’s what it means.)
If you're looking to impress your tennis pals with your incredible knowledge of French Open trivia (and aren't we all looking to do that?), here are my “Top 5 Things You Should Know About The French Open”:
Un. French Open or Roland Garros? The French Open is also referred to as Roland Garros. I personally try to call it Roland Garros and then, when no one knows what I’m talking about, I say, “Oh, I’m sorry. Roland Garros is the official name of the tournament. People like you probably know it as the French Open.” I’m going for a condescending tone here, but I’m not sure any of my tennis friends care enough to pick up on this.
Deux. And just who was Roland Garros anyway and how did he get a Grand Slam named after him? Well, Roland Garros was a famous World War I French aviator who was also an avid tennis player and a member of the Stade Francais tennis club. I know – sounds weird. It’s a French thing.
Trois. How is the French Open different from the other Slams? The French Open is THE premier clay court tournament in the world and the second of the Slams on the calendar (following the Australian Open, and before Wimbledon and the U.S. Open). It is the only Slam held on clay and marks the end of the spring clay court season.
Quatre. Who are the returning champs? The 2014 French Open champs were Rafael Nadal in men’s singles, Maria Sharapova in women’s singles, Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin (they're French) in men’s doubles, Hsieh Su-wei and Peng Shuai in women’s doubles, and Anna-Lena Gronefeld and Jean-Julien Rojer (he's French) in mixed doubles.
Cinq. And who holds records at the French Open? Well, to start with, Rafael Nadal has won men’s singles an amazing nine times and will be going for his 10th title this year. In women’s singles, Chris Evert holds the record, also with seven titles. Interestingly, Martina Navratilova holds the women’s doubles record, having won that title six times. The youngest men’s singles winner is Michael Chang, who won in 1989 at the age of 17 years and 3 months. The youngest women’s singles winner is Monica Seles who won in 1990 at 16 years and 6 months. And guess who holds the men’s record for most defeats in the singles final? It is Roger Federer (boo hoo) who has lost four times, all four times to Rafael Nadal.
J’aime le tennis! (Hopefully that means Happy Tennis! or I Love Tennis! Either one works.)